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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  April 20, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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really well we'll have a chance of getting a disproportionate amount of money back assuming the company does well, assuming that they have an i.p.o. and assuming that the treasury will be able to liquid ate the interest. >> and the point we will get the money will come with the i.p.o.? >> yeah. >> and there's probably some stock levels, some price level for the stock that above which we would break even. .
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rrl and just to -- in our quarterly report on page 116, we make reference to the assets and debts that are still in new chrysler and it's about $3.5 billion original loan before the company went into bankruptcy and $1.9 billion debtor in possession, so those are two pieces that will be written off. >> when you said earlier, mr. chairman, where i'm going with this is to try to better understand how much this roughly $100 billion that is still owed is likely to be recovered in the next year or two. 2013 is out there.
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what is the significance of that date? >> these are the estimates from c.b.o. and o.m.b. that will never be recovered. >> section 134 which has the recoupment standard requires that on the fifth year anniversary of tarp, october, 2013, the director of o.m.b. and c.b.o. certify what the estimate of the permanent loss would be and that triggers the administration to submit a legislative proposal to recoup that from the financial industry. >> well, we'll know by that date if chrysler will make it and be a successful venture and schedule an i.p.o.? >> the goal is to have at least their initial i.p.o. well before then. >> can i continue to ask a couple more questions? can we turn to gm if we don't
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mind and explain the situation. do we have an equity position in gm that we need an i.p.o. to be able to recover from? >> with the repayment of this debt, which we discussed about earlier, there are some preferred shared interests but the interest is an equity interest in gm. we have a controlling interest in gm. gm, the new c.e.o. has announced the intention of having an i.p.o. seems to be an intention that will occur this year and return profitability for gm. at that point, i think the initial public offering won't be 100% private interest in gm but will startg a public company and we will be able to quantify what the government's interest in gm is worth. if the shares of stock increase, there will be a continued demand in the marketplace for more
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shares of general motors that will give the treasury have subsequent offerings and sell off its interests in the market i hope what will be ever increasing value in their interests. >> we don't have a lot of people here, mr. chairman. but this is interesting testimony. i think it is encouraging testimony. >> it raises the question, what degree should the tax be. we don't yet know and reasonable period of time will be paid back, which i think is a legitimate question to ask. but you're right. let me ask one more question if i might. what's the status of the corporate governance audit? if we own some of these entities virtually whether it's gm,
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freddie mac and fannie mae, it raises questions of our corporate governance, the interaction between the treasury and management of these companies. >> in your response to your question rgs, we initiated this audit. we split up the responsibilities with g.a.o. and we frankly don't have jurisdiction over some of the entities like freddie mac or fannie mae. but g.a.o. does. and we split up the different tasks of this and i spoke to my chief auditor the other day and we are exchanging drafts of the audit report with g.a.o. we don't have an estimated release date but we are in the process of getting there within the next couple of months. >> i appreciate that. i think it's very important. thank you for doing that. how many fed dollars went to distressed companies? >> we reported on this number
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back until july and i anticipate we will be doing a catch-up on that on how much money not just came from the treasury and tarp but the overall financial system. back in july, it was $3 trillion for the various programs to support the financial industry. i saw an estimate in one of the media outlets, so i don't want to suggest they get everything right but estimated the number at $3 trillion. we are going to revisit that previous report in our quarterly roort and give an update on where that number is and we'll include -- include breakdowns. >> when will the report be available? >> part of our july quarterly report. >> what's your best guess the degree to which the fed dollars
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have been recupid? >> the number will go down in certain categories and up in others. for example, when we did our last review, the $1.235 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities was in the ramp-phase. some of the emergency programs have been shut down so those numbers will increase. i'm not sure from a net perspective what has changed but we can get you an answer just off their balance sheet. >> how many institutions are overlapped that get both tarp dollars and fed assistance? >> i would say a significant number of large financial institutions would have gotten support, most certainly did get support from some of the guarantee programs as well as the tarp. >> anyway you can give us an
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amount, on average? i know averages -- >> we don't have access -- a lot of that fed information is not publicly available, for example, who benefits from the discount window so we haven't been able to match that up. we haven't asked for that information. >> but some tarp recipients from benefited from the discount window. >> one would presume, but not just the discount window but a number of programs that they did to support them during the course of this financial crisis. no question that the larger financial institutions probably benefited from those various programs, debt guarantee, money market guarantee and the different programs, the alphabet soup. there is no question that the big players benefited from multiple programs, tarp and non-tarp. today, their return to record
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profitability and the large payouts, executive compensation payouts is directly attributable to support that this government has given them to tarp and related programs. there is no question. >> that goes back to an earlier question, where is small business here? you helped large institutions get back on their feet but i don't think there has been a sufficient job helping small business. >> ultimately, i think the decision to provide this money to tarp recipients without any conditions, without any incentives or penalty for not applying it to actually make them go out and lend the money has resulted in them using this money in ways to maximize their own profits and not necessarily to carry out the government's goal in this program, which was to incentivize and increase lending. >> so it seems. senator carper. >> thank you, sir.
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so, coming back to my line of questioning earlier, gm has repaid $1 billion earlier this month, moneyies from the tarp. they stand to pay another $7 billion sometime this summer. but sounds like taking it out of one pocket and putting it in another? >> they repaid $2.billion. but yes, the source of that was an equity capital facility that is escrow money. some of the money that was given to gm wasn't given as a lump-sum check saying some of this money is available to you. they can draw down. and they have to serve a report to the government what they are going to do with the money. the way it's structured, if there is any money left in that account after a certain period of time, there has to be used to
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repay the debt. it is taking the money out of this tarp capital facility and using it to pay off the debt, the $6.7 billion debt that was previously owed. $2 billion has been paid and the remaining $3.7 billion will be paid off. >> for the federal government to realize any additional funds from gm, does an i.p.o. have to occur? are there any additional monies they need to repay the tarp? >> i'm trying to think if there is a hypothetical way. there has to be a liquidation of its ownership interests. if they could find a private player that could buy treasury's equity outside of a public offering, that would accomplish that goal. but as a practical matter given the vast size of the investment, it's most -- likely going to
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occur and do it through an initial public offering and subsequent capital offerings in selling that into the market. >> over time, hopefully the value of stock will appreciate as the auto industry recovers in this country and hopefully gm holds its market share. did i hear you say with respect to -- changing course a little bit, >> the design of that program is for $50 billion subsidy, money going out. no mechanism for repayment. >> pivotting again, i just want to come back to the administration's proposal. i think they proposed taking another $30 billion from the tarp and excusing it for capital infusion into banks with less than $10 billion in assets. my recollection was that there would be a tiered approach with
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respect to the institute's obligation to pay dividends, i assume the preferred stock we would purchase. under the money that's gone into capital infusion already under the tarp, i think the dividend rate was 5%. has the administration proposed that similar dividend be set for the smaller banks that would be covered in this program, but they could lower that obligation to as low as 1%? >> if they lend money to small businesses? >> basically, that's correct. you have to start with the initial tarp recipients. there will be 95% of the existing c.c.p. so those who are currently paying 5%. and not just new applicants but
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once in the c.c.p. program if they can demonstrate they increased their lending level above the 2009 threshold level, they can lower their dividend payment if they can demonstrate they increased the lending from 5% to 1% up to eight years. >> does the administration have the authority to go ahead and launch this $30 billion program of capital infusion? do they need our authorization to do that? do they need something from the congress? >> if they did it within the tarp, they wouldn't have to. their proposal is to take the money out of the tarp. their explanation for the reasons why is that emergency economic stablization act that the congress passed requires treasury to put on certain restrictions to those institutions who received tarp money. the executive compensation restrictions and certain other things, repurchase of stock and
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related to warrants so the taxpayer can share on the upside. the treasury has determined that those factors as well as the stigma of being involved in the tarp means that if they launch this program within the tarp, they won't expect that much additional participation and that they have to take those sticks away in order to get smaller banks to come to the window and participate. in order to do that, they absolutely have to take the legislation out of the tarp. and one of the unfortunate things i was discussing earlier with senator grassley, originally, it was contemplated our oversight role would come with it and it would take us along with the $30 billion and 95% potentially of c.c.p. recipients so we can maintain and continue fluidly without interruption our oversight. but right now the current intention is we would not be included. >> you make a good point.
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we talked about this during the hearing. if we do this extra $30 billion, it seems like the idea of the oversight, we ought to continue that. >> thank you, i appreciate that. i think it's rare to ask for more work but it's a continue aation of what we have been doing. >> thank you very much. you are doing a good job. we deeply appreciate it. keep it up. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> friday a debate between the three democratic candidates for arkansas senate seat. you can see the debate live friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern
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c-span. on friday, the debate between the five republican candidates for indiana's senate seat. senator bayh is not seeking re-election. see it live friday starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> we still have a vast workforce out there with too many people who can't read, can't learn, can't compete and 75% of the emwho will be in the workforce, we have to do more with them. >> bill clinton, the c-span video library focuses on 115 individuals and adds new faces and experts you can follow it. search it, watch it, clip it and share it, every program since 1987 available online at the c-span video library.
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>> a pentagon update on air force operations in afghanistan. this is 35 minutes. 4 >> good morning and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to hear from the brigadier general who is the commander of the 455th locketted in afghanistan. been the wing commander since april of 2009 and can provide an overview of operations in afghanistan. he is prepared to speak to the relationship between the pilots in the air and the troops on the ground with the goal of ultimately providing security and stability to the afghan
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people. he is in bagram today and this is our first opportunity to have him in this format. general, i turn it over to you for a few opening comments and then we'll take some questions here. so from the pentagon, welcome again. >> i'm grateful for you taking the time because it is an incredibly important strategic place in the world right now for a whole series of reasons and i'm grateful to talk a little bit today about that and to answer your questions. so without furthera do, let's get right to business. >> very good. barbara's been weaving her hand in the back row.
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>> i noticed that areao medical evac is under your command. so can you explain to us in as much detail as possible why now the air force is wounded ill or injured patients out of afghanistan to iraq before taking them onto the united states? what is the thinking there? and can you give us any numbers that you can about the numbers of troops going from one war zone to the other before they come home now? >> you are a big hero out there and we appreciate what you do in communicating the story out here to the american people and to
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the world. with regard to your question, that is actually an event that was driven by the volcano and the ash that is settling over europe and england, ireland and some of the northern tier european countries. normally we take them elsewhere. it is designed around the medical survival and taking the best care of our soldiers. needs to have an immediate stop where they are stabilized and given care that we may not be able to be efficiently given out here. so because we could not fly them in because of the safety concerns because of the volcanic ash in the air, we used another stop before they go home. and we took capability and capacity there to do the same
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thing. but it's all driven by the requirement medley that that intermediate stop saves lives and needs to be done. i hope that answers your question but i would be happy to go into more detail. >> i would appreciate it if we could go into more detail. can you possibly explain why bagram -- does bagram not have the sufficient hospital care to stabilize these patients? and you say it is it driven by the medical reality to ensure survival. it raises the question, you know, it was understanding that troops were being taken directly back to the united states at some point. was there some belief in afghanistan and the command
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structure that wounded troops were at risk and they had to make a stop and couldn't bring them back directly to the united states? and can you tell us how many wounded troops so far have been medivaked to iraq? >> i appreciate that question and i'm happy to talk about that. i will tell you that it is not about the amount of care but about the capacity and about making sure that we triage and make sure that we have capacity for the unexpected event of a battlespace like this. we have to be prepared for something like a devastating attack by the enemy. to have that capacity ready at our hands means that we have to move those wounded soldiers and we have to move them in a way that allows us to be prepared
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for the unexpected. now, the reality is that there is no degradation in care because we are going somewhere else. the reality is that this very delicate balance of medical care and the delicate balance of capacity so we are prepared for the unexpected in the battle space where the enemy gets a vote, drives us to this construct that was wisely crafted in a very creative way of giving maximum care while maintaining maximum capacity. to describe that very medley sounded -- medically sounded construct, we will give you a medical expert, but it's predicated on medical fact and capacity so at the battle states right here where the rubber meets the road, we are prepared for the unexpected and no matter what happens to us, no matter what the enemy might do we are
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ready to save lives and that we are so full with people that we cannot handle a major attack. >> i was wondering, this may be out of your lane, but do you have any information about how the survivors were evacuated or taken to medical care on april 9 when the os pre-- ospri crashed and can you give us information about what caused that crash or anything about it? >> well, i appreciate that question because i appreciate what's behind the question and that is a very deep concern for those who were wounded and killed and for the safety issues surrounding that. i will tell you the one thing rest assured that the department
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of defense is world class at any event that takes place, that they preserve evidence and they research root cause so we protect people in the future and that investigation and that entire process of protecting evidence and driving to root cause and then bringing forward recommendations in every aspect to make sure something like that never happens again, that is ongoing and will be brought to conclusion so all the decision makers are able to ensure safe and effective warfighting k35euk9. back to your first question how were the people taken care of. the answer is just like any casualty in this battlespace, they were brought forward to the forward medical facilities. it was based on what happened to them. every situation is different and every situation is judged by a
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medical professional who is qualified to make a medical decision as to how that patient should be treated to make sure they survive and long-term care that they need. and that same construct that applies to any sold year on the battlefield, any airmen, marine, any civilian, took place with this terrible accident as well. >> i would like two clarifications. on the investigation, i think i could read into your answer that you are denying reports that the aircraft wreckage was destroyed, is that correct? yes or no. >> that is a total misrepresentation of my intention there. i am neither making a statement one way or the other with regard to the facts in the case. i'm talking about the process is very good in determining root
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cause and that will come out eventually. but it's important to not comment on things, just like any investigation, because it can sometimes threaten an outcome that is all driven towards safety and protecting future soldiers and fighters that are out here. so my comment is based on the process and that the process is vigorous, aggressive at getting at root cause and as quickly as possible, making sure that future lives are protected because we know what happened to the best of our ability. so that process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on anything more specific than that. you cannot read into my comment one way or the other and that is because of the safety of future soldiers. >> what i meant to say, you said all the evidence has been preserved and there has been a report that the wreckage was destroyed. those aren't necessarily
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contradictory statements but can you tell us if the wreckage was destroyed. >> geng on the battle space, threat and risk, there is a judgment call made. once we have what we need to determine root cause, we will say how many lives are we going to risk to bring this metal back home. is it better to destroy it or bring it back home. those decisions are made very carefully and made by the people who are doing the investigation. but rest assured, that investigative team, they went out there and they got what they needed in order to do this investigation properly. and then whatever was not needed was destroyed because the decision must have been made and
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i'm not intimately familiar with any of the details in the case, but my assumption would be the decision was made that the risk of bringing back things that were not useful to the investigation outweighed the situation so it was destroyed in place after they had gathered all of the important pieces of information. >> that's very helpful. >> general "military times." quick follow-up. we were told that these flights were coming straight from the theater to andrews and patients were being trafford from there to walter reed or to bethesda. when was the change made to stop them immediately or were we misinformed that they were coming straight back with injuries? >> right, and forgive me, but
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the question was distorted because of the technology and the delay. could you repeat the question. and forgive me for not being able to hear it. >> last week we were told air medical flights were coming to andrews air force base in washington. now we are being told there is another stop. were we misinformed before or was this change made subsequent to the initial plan? >> that's a very good question and i heard you clearly that time. thank you very much. the two are not mutually exclusive. again, this is based on medical care and capacity. those are the two drivers here. and there are some patients that are stable enough and medical situation is such that they can go straight back home. so again, there is a triage-decision-making process.
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and the capacity that we preserve can be increased by taking some patients straight back home. so again, not being in my lane there, but watching the process, that would be you know my assumption that they are preserving capacity by taking those patients that can go straight home straight home. but that it is not done on anything other than medical facts in the case to maximize care, protection and survive built of every fine american that is suffering in this regard. >> "stars and stripes." from the same topic, how many bodies had gone to iraq, whether wounded casualties and what happened to the route through spain? is that a third option still going on or is that a change
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instead of? >> we'll get you the numbers so you have the facts straight and accurate. with regard to other options, all the options out there are being considered. every time a decision is made, we look at all the capacity from here home to make sure that each case is being decided on based on the facts in the case, the medical realities and it's a person with medical credentials to make that call and we execute that decision-making process based on medical evaluations. >> general, fox news, i have a broader picture question.
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d.o.d. report on iran says iran is known to provide weapons in country to various insurgent groups. have you seen any evidence of that and if any of these weapons pose a specific threat to what you do there in afghanistan. >> well, i thank you for that question, and forgive me, this is not a classified v.t.c., so my answer cannot be too detailed, but i will tell you that any country that sports the insurgents is a threat. it doesn't matter what they might be providing, it is a threat. the question is how catastrophic is that threat and how potentially devastating is it. so i think in all the open sources we have read, we have seen reflections that iran has been at least accused of doing
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this. and even though i have no direct knowledge specifically, i can tell you that if that were the case, that would not be good and this is one of those situations where any state that is supplying ourl enemy is not a friend to the coalition and that needs to be addressed. >> to follow up on justin's question about if iran is supporting the insurgency in afghanistan, have you found any proof that there are some iranian weapons in afghanistan that are delivering sophisticated weapons to the military within taliban? >> well, the answer to that is, you know, i cannot speak to any
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of the classified information that may be out there. i will tell you that you know as we fight this enemy, the enemy has weapons. you see it, you read about it. they shoot at us with bullets. they shoot at us with r.p.g.'s, all types of weapons. and whether those weapons have come from a certain nation state or whether they have come from funding from certain states, it's impossible to tell on the battlefield without some of the forensics and if you go and do those forensics that is a classified realm and i can't speak about that on this v.t.c. unfortunately, so forgive me for that. >> we heard a lot of general mcchrystal's emphasis on avoiding collateral damage casualties and a lot of that is restricted to the air strike.
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how are your crews handling that? are you still sending missions up to be ready if they're needed or are you on alert? it just seems that your guys are not having anything to do if you are not able to do direct support for the ground troops. >> i thank you for that question because this is one of those misconceptions in the american media i would like to address and that is the more this fight is a counterinsurgency, the more powerful it is. we fly more now than we ever have because we need to be there for the ground force commander, troops on the ground. we are there to support them directly. even though general mcchrystal has a tactical directive that helps us do the right thing
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where the people of this country are the center of gravity and we are here not to kill the enemy, but to protect the afghan people. we fly those missions to protect the coalition, protect the afghan people and protect the country they live in from their homes, to irrigation systems, to orchards and air power can be supplied in so many ways. we can be there to shut down the enemy of communications so they can't be there to fight. we can be the eye in the sky to see and hear the enemy and understand what they're doing and wait and have tactical patience until the enemy is in a place where there are no civilians. so just the opposite is true. your assumption we are doing less, we are actually doing more. and not only are we doing more, but what we are doing is more profoundly bringing us to victory here because it is more focused on protecting the people. it's true we still go after the
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enemy and there are enemy combatants out there, those insurgents trying to kill afghan people and kill coalition forces. we will be there to protect those coalition forces. that has not changed. but we have had an opening now to do even more in the counterinsurgency to help the people of afghanistan. >> go to the back and then return to barbara. >> michael evans from "the london times." despite what you said, are you significantly reducing the number of bombing missions that you have ordered since the tactical directive from general mcchrystal? and there's one more question that i'll ask in a minute. >> yes. and there was a little garble, but your question have we
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reduced the number of bombing missions we have flown since the tactical directive. we have dropped fewer bombs since the tactical directive because the ground force commanders are becoming more and more focused on protecting the people instead of chasing the enemy. now, you still have to chase the enemy. both of these are important. but the emphasis has been placed on helping bringing the governance and the development and the security of the afghan people. so that's focused and has had the effect of fewer bombs dropped. but that is a good news story, because it means we are getting it right. >> can i ask, you started your opening remarks by saying that afghanistan was now strategically important place at the moment.
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can i ask you, do you envision the use of any of your air assets in afghanistan for any possible future action against iran? >> i appreciate that question and the reality is that the coalition that is here is focused on the counterinsurgency in afghanistan and any adjustments to that set of construct that we are working towards lies in the realm of presidents and policy makers that really are the ones are responsible for making those strategic decisions. so i can't speak to anything with regard to how forces might be shifted or postured. we are focused on saving the afghan people, bringing security and peace to them, bringing what they desperately want, raise
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their children, love their families, just like we are able to do, with a sense of security to do so freely and we stay focused on that. >> general, you talked about how you are getting the wounded to care and eventually back to the united states. what is the -- with the volcano continuing what is the air route for the return to dover air force base of those killed in action? how are you bringing them home and what is the delay in returning those remains to dover right now? >> i thank you to that question and it goes back to what i said in the earlier questions and that is we e.p.a. open-minded with the entire spectrum in europe.
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there are many places we can use as staging places to move forward and have the same effect we had. so the reality is there is no delay, but a different route and predicated how far south that volcanic ash is drifting. we watch the jet stream every day and watch the weather patterns to see how that ash is manifesting itself in the sky and we watch the volcano to see how it's going on. every day is a different decision, every medical case is a different decision. but one thing is not compromised and that is the safety and health of these fine young warriors who are giving and sacrificing for all of us to have a world free of extremists that are trying to do harm to our globe. so you can rest assured that every day is looked at very closely and every case is sent back home with dignity, with care and with prudentens to make
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sure there is no degradation and the highest quality of care is given to these wonderful soldiers that are doing so much for our country. >> it probably got garbled and didn't hear the full question, i was asking about the return of remains to dover air force base of those killed in action, how is that now taking place since they can't be taken bab through the usual routes -- back through the usual routes in europe. >> my apology, i did mishear that question and the answer is, it has not changed. the route of flight and we don't have perfect conditions here, i have a fly in my eye, but the construct for bringing home our
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fallen heroes has not changed at all and the predicate is getting them home to their families as quickly as possible. that is not based on the ash. they take a route that is south of that volcanic ash and moved forward with all due speed and that structure has not changed. we look at all of the options we have in europe between here and home and make sure that those remains fly out on the first available aircraft to get back to their families with honor and with dignity. in fact, i was just at the site of an aircraft this morning where we were sending home a young man that was killed in that suicide vest attack in kabul yesterday. and he is getting home. and we track that time line to the second, literally, from the moment his remains arrive here to the moment he is back at dover and there has been no
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degradation in the speed and efficiency and the dignity and respect with which those remains come back home since the volcanic eruption. >> general, we have been talking about outbound flights. if you are in the middle of a buildup in the constant resupply of people who are there, how is the volcano situation affecting you -- your inbound transport? >> it is affecting it. and we read national park open source how this has been the most devastating transportation crisis we have seen in recent memory anyway. but the reality, though, is when you are working a logistics structure like we have here, it's all about priorities. so the fact it has delayed or
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trapped in some cases logistics flow in europe that we expected here, we prioritize and make sure those things that we absolutely positively have to have here, we get here. and so we may not have the same volume or speed in the short run, but we get what we need. and we make a splan to ensure we make up for that loss over the long run. so what you'll see is if you could see it on a chart, you could see a potential dip but we would prioritize such that those things that are getting here and the many, many ways we have of getting things here, that we are getting what we need and it's prioritized and will make up for it over the next few weeks and months based on that priorityization scheme that is directly connected to the president's priorities and the
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coalition's priorities. >> one more question. >> general, abc news, two quick questions. you spoke about fewer bombs being dropped. is that greater importance on the show force missions as part of the counterinsurgency mission and the mc-12 liberty craft, do you have any in theater and if so, what impact are they having? and how many do you anticipate on having over the coming months? >> i thank you for the question. let me make sure i heard the first question. the second question was on the mc-12, liberty ships and first question was in this counterinsurgency, we have more show of force.
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is that a correct restatement? >> greater emphasis on shows of force because you are dropping fewer bombs. >> right. i thank you for those questions and to take the first question first and that's with regard to the shows of force. one thing to realize about afghanistan, it's very different than iraq and really my where else we have been. afghanistan has a culture where people are lisk in such remote -- living in such remote areas that every situation is different. the use of air power is different. the ground force commander in one valley, a show of force might be a good thing and we see it more often. but in another valley, it might be something that is not helpful. the people may not appreciate it. so as we put ourselves in the shoes of the afghan people,
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making sure we are doing things that help them, that bring them security, different ground force commanders use air power differently. so the answer to your question on shows of force, in some places it has gone up, but in other places, it has not. but it is predicated on the fact that every village is different and every village needs a different solution and that solution is something that is in the hands of the ground force commander, the company commander, that knows the people and been living with the people with the people and knows the elders and knows what air effects he needs to bring to that valley to ensure that he is bringing security, he's bringing development, and he is bringing governance to that village. the shows of force is a mixed bag, on a whole, we see more of them with this tactical directive. with regard to your second
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question, that liberty ship, this that mc-12 is a godsend. i can't tell you how happy they are to have that capability here. it brings something we have not had before in the way it lashes so many capabilities together and it is a blessing and it's saving lives every time it flies. with regard to the numbers, that dips into the classified section, but i will fell you they are delivering them as fast as they can and they are delivering them in sufficient numbers to meet the requirmentse that's here. >> general, we have gone over our time so i want to thank you for being so grashe us with it and addressing our questions here. before i bring it to an end, let me make sure you don't have any final remarks you would like to make.
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>> i want to thank each of you because the questions you asked really belie a deep concern and care for our fine americans that are fighting here, civilians, marines, army, navy, air force and i appreciate that compassion that really drives your questions. and by telling the story to the american people, we are stronger as a nation. i'm grateful for what you do and the role you play in helping to bring the truth to the american people, because that truth is what keeps us all free and will help us win this endeavor, by helping the afghan people find their own security, stand on their own two feet and be able to provide for their future so we can eventually move back home. thank you again for your time and god bless all of you and the role you play for victory here in afghanistan. >> thank you, general.
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and hopefully in a couple of months, we will have you back in this forum. thanks again. >> thank you, sir. and out from afghanistan. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> watch another winner of c-span's student cam documentary competition. we asked them to tell us about the country's greatest strengths. we talked to a ninth grader at a middle school in south burlington, vermont. ria, how's it going? >> good. >> the name of your documentary is "land of opportunity."
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how did you come up with that title? >> challengeses and strengths and we thought in hard times like this there are so many challenges we are facing so why don't we like on the brighter side of things. and we looked at the country's strengths and they fell into the same category of opportunity and we also heard the name the land of opportunity before so we decided that would be the title of my video. >> what type of opportunities do you think the united states has to offer? >> it has a lot of great opportunities and as we mention in our video, freedom in rights, no cultural or religious restriction, safety, laws, education, jobs and a lot more. and through freedom, everybody is given an education and can practice any religion and proceed on your goals without being discriminated and feel safe in this country. >> does your community reflect diversity? >> our small community reflects
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diversity and we have a lot of different eggetnissyits, and it's great to see different people in the world leafing together. >> you interviewed a former citizen of iraq and so how did you get that interview and what did you learn from her? >> we realized we wanted to interview someone with a powerful story so they could tell us about the types of opportunities they are given. we had a few people we were considering. one of our cuss towedians, iraq, her religion wouldn't allow her to be on television. and she agreed to get interviewed and we asked about her life in iraq to see if she was the right candidate and once we heard of her experience, we knew she was able to tell a powerful real-life experience. >> what impact did it have on your documentary?
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>> when i heard her story that someone around my age has gone through those things. i could never imagine myself in that situation and it was sad to hear about the violence that occurs in iraq. >> what did you learn from her in speaking with her? >> i have heard people saying that we should be grateful. and with the growing technology and advancements, sometimes we forget how fortunate we are. but hearing her story it reminds me of the opportunities and we are living the good life. while we have the opportunity to live a good life. we should take every chance and appreciate the fact that we are privileged. >> you used a lot of creative elements. how did you decide to use all those? >> ever since we produced videos, we like to produce exciting videos even though it is supposed to be a documentary, it doesn't mean we can't be creative.
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and we thought it would be fun. it was a cool idea and new learning idea to film a story. >> what did you enjoy the most working on your documentary? >> i enjoyed pretty much everything actually. it is a lot of fun to work with my friends and our teacher is an amazing person. he is dedicated and comes at 6:30 in the morning and we learn from him. filming and editing videos is one of my passions so i had a blast and it was a great experience to overcome the challenges of our own and i hope to participate in student cam in the future. >> congratulations on your win. >> thank you. >> let's watch a portion of her documentary. >> equal opportunity for all and the common good. >> you can be a woman, minority race, have a disability, any sexual ownertation, financial
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situation, political view, and you will not be discriminated. in the u.s., any individual has the freedom to reach for the stars and pursue their goals. about 64% of wall street is made up of women and just imagine how much freedom our country has david paterson who is blind is governor of new york. >> you can watch all the documentary winners at student >> friday, car can saw senate debate. you can see it live friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. also on friday, a debate between the five republican candidates for indiana's senate seat. senator bayh is not seeking re-election.
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see the live friday starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> state department spokesman said the volcanic eruption in iceland is having an impact on travel and supply lines for mp state department officials in many parts of the world. he spoke with reporters on this and other topics for about half an hour. >> good afternoon and welcome to the department of state. i think we'll declare this ash tuesday. [laughter] >> we have set up a monitoring group upstairs in the operations center and we can report our embassies particularly throughout europe are fielding a higher level of calls the past couple of days. a number of americans who are walking into the embassies, we
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have taken a number of actions. embassies have dispatched consular officers to check in to see what their needs are. they are helping americans with recommendations on low-cost lodging and other alternative travel arrangements, how to fill prescriptions, how to wire funds if citizens are running low. .
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we are waiting for a decision which may come the next few minutes from brussels whether the meeting will take place. but right now she is planning to go. regarding russian adoptions, the head of the u.s. delegation ambassador mike curby spoke yesterday with his russian counterpart and the two have agreed to reschedule the talks for april 29 and 30 in moscow. and ambassador birley also met yesterday as i think i mentioned, yesterday with the deputy foreign minister to discuss our commitment to the ongoing issue. regarding travel, deputy secretary steinberg on his first day of a two-day visit in new delhi met with defense secretary, national security advisor and external affairs
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minister to discuss a broad range of issues on -- of mutual interest, advancing our strategic partnership with india. undersecretary bill burns is in senegal today. his first step stop in a seven-day tour to expand a relations with key partners in africa. the trip will focus on democracy, sustainable economic development, health and education, nonproliferation and peace and security. and finally before taking your questions, there was a question yesterday in our consulates in nuveeow laredo and our open and operating under normal business hours. questions. >> yeah. >> was that established today? >> it was established yesterday. >> yesterday, ok. do you know why it wasn't established earlier since late
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last week? >> we've been monitoring this but i think because of the -- i think it surprised many people in terms of the complexity and the duration of this challenge. i think yesterday we decided to have a more intensive group focused on exactly what's happening overseas and to open up large communication with our embassies to monitor this on a more -- concerted basis. >> i was asking why it wasn't started before yesterday. this has been a problem -- >> i mean, if your irches is that we haven't been paying attention to this, we have been paying attention to this. but as you get into day five, day six of what is an unprecedented situation in certain terms of, you know, you go back to reports of volcanos in the 18th or 19th century but this has had a profound impact
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on the aviation transportation system in europe and as we've begun to see the numbers of people and there are a range of numbers of people in terms of how it might have affected clean american citizens. we decided yesterday we need to have a more intensive look at this and monitor it on an ongoing basis. we have been focused on this since late last week but now we have a team that's actually an ongoing basis receiving reports -- reports, engineering calls, and also, you know, seeing what impact it has on our overall state department operations. >> so you're suggesting if we went back to the mode of transportation in those times that we'd be just fine. >> yeah. probably back in the steam ship era this wouldn't have been an issue. >> getting back to ambassador in london, his meetings, did they take place at the embassy, some of these were americans --
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>> yes. right. and obviously everyone affected by this is obviously frustrated. and trying to figure out what's going on. we are maintaining contact with host nation officials on what decisions they're making regarding opening of air space and opening of airplanes -- airports. and we are as needed interseeding where we can with travel officials, airline officials, as we did with this case of the couple in paris. they were booked for a flight home on the day that one of that couple was scheduled for cancer surgery. we got them placed a little ahead in the queue and that's the kind of things we're doing on an individual basis to help american citizens where we can. >> are there any official policy on loans, financial
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arrangements? >> to anyone who is really out of funds entirely there are procedures where we can help out american citizens with a loan and make arrangements for repayment later. i'm not sure we have seen a lot of that situation. it's more a case of people that have resources but may not have a hotel room or have a medical prescription that needs to be refilled, we point them to the nearest pharmacy. in some cases where people are now, you know, have been -- had a hotel room but had lost that booking, we're helping them with lower cost options if that's appropriate. so we're doing the kinds of things to had help our citizens that you would expect. >> [inaudible] had tried to apply for one of these loans? >> i'm sure it's happened. i just can't put a number on it. >> can you put a rough count on the numbers of americans
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involved -- [inaudible] a figure for the number in the u.k. 40,000, is that a similar -- >> i think there's a range, i don't know that we're in a position it to say this is the number of americans we think have been affected by this. i've seen the range up to 40,000, down to around 17,000. i think they're all kind of squishy. >> -- efforts going on here in washington or new york to assess the global -- the broader economic impact? we're seeing reports about impacts on trade if in africa, for example, the produce and a lot of economic hardship due to this. i don't know if there's any -- >> i'm sure on a country by country basis we will see he that there will be profound local ramifications. whether it has more regional significance clearly it will have impact across, you know, particular sectors of the
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economy. so, you're quite right. in the case of kenya, you know, that was a compelling story about the fact that you now have produce that you can transport to markets. so we will be assessing this as we go forward and it may well have some midterm impact in terms of some of the initiatives we have regionally such as our efforts on food security. obviously those can have an impact. >> move on? >> sure. go i want to ask of syria yesterday. does the u.s. have evidence or reason to believe that syria has in fact transferred studs to hezbollah? >> we put the media in context and then answer your question. there had recently been a statement by the syrian ambassador to the united states that we had not raised this issue. in fact, we have raised this issue multiple times going back to february. so yesterday evening we did call in the d.c.m. of the embassy
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here just to make sure that he understood that we take this issue very seriously and to remove any doubt about the concern that we have and how important we think it is to the region and so that was the context within which the meeting last night took place and we will continue to have these ongoing discussions with syria about this issue. we are still looking into it. we haven't reached any particular judgment at this point as to whether a transfer has taken place. but we made it clear both today, last night and in other meetings that this is something that we have great concern about, it is a violation per speculatively of u.n. security council resolution 1701, in terms of weaponry, advanced weaponry coming into lebanon, that is the province
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rightfully of the government of lebanon and that under 1701, only the government of lebanon is permitted to bring in weapons of this kind. >> what was the -- if you don't know or you don't have evidence or reason to believe that there's been such transfers, why have all these meetings? why are you raising it? >> we're raising it because week of seen reporting on it and we are studying it closely. but the approximate reason for the meeting last night was because there have been direct -- public comments by the syrian ambassador to the united states that we haven't raised this issue and we have raised it but we want to make sure they understood completely that in fact this is an issue of great concern to the united states. go ahead. >> the syrian government has denied today the accusations -- >> i understand that. but at least now they cannot say that we haven't raised this issue.
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we have raised it on several occasions. >> they're warning again from yet again that the united states would go ahead and take a lead from the israeli intelligence for the united states accusation of syria. even the prime minister of lebanon has indicated to the fact that this case seems like it is a petition of what happened in iraq, when iraq was accused of having nuclear capability. yet you are -- [inaudible] a coalition that has taken place between syria and lebanon to offend their existence against an aggressive israel when at the same time an israeli minister has said to a british newspaper, has threatened that israel was going to bomb syria to take it back to the stone age. do you have any reaction to this? >> i would be happy to -- you know, let's take these issues -- they're, you no, there has been
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public reporting about a possible transfer of scud missiles, you know, to hezbollah. as i said, the united states has not reached a judgment as to whether such a transfer has taken place. but, you know, this is not a new issue, taken more broadly from the question of a missile like the scud. the arming of hezbollah, yeah, it represents a significant threat to regional stability. this is why the united nations security council passed resolution 1701 in 2006. so this is not a she new issue -- a new issue. it's based off a u.n. resolution, this is not about any one country or any one concern. this is about a pattern of activity that threatens regional stability. so, the importation of any sort of weapons into lebanon is the
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rightful province of the sovereign government of lebanon. and it gets to choose what kind of weapons will be in its country, you know, to serve its own self-defense. so the fact that you have a separate country arming a militia inside, you know, of lebanon is a threat to lebanon's sovereignty. and we are committed to support lebanon, its sovereignty and regional security and stability. so this was the context behind our very clear message to syria that this is a great concern to the united states. go ahead. >> we've seen reports -- [inaudible] these israeli reports, do you think they're credible? >> i'm not going to get into our intelligence activities. there have been reports. one of the reasons you people have been asking us questions. but this is the context behind the meeting headlines. >> the wording of the
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statements, the provocative behavior involving potential transfers, i'm wondering, if you haven't determined whether or not they've made this transfer then what provocative behavior are you referring to specifically? >> just go back to what i said. the issue of the arming of militia like hezbollah by outside countries is a great concern to us, to great and legitimate concern to the sovereign government of lebanon. so this is not a new issue. it may be new in the context of marching up the scale in terms of the kinds of weapons that hezbollah may try to obtain, but we want to be clear that, you know, that matters of -- and legitimate matters of self-defense in lebanon, that's a matter for the sovereign government of lebanon and it's not for outside countries or factions to meddle in lebanese affairs. >> if it is the sovereign right of the lebanon government and lebanese armed forces to defend themselves, you wouldn't have a problem if the lebanese army say
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wanted to buy scud missiles from syria? >> we'll -- >> are you suggesting that -- >> let's not get into hypotheticals. obviously we -- >> hold on, whoa, whoa, you put out an entire statement yesterday based on a hypothetical, based on this idea you say you don't have any evidence to support the claim that syria has transferred these scuds to hezbollah. that's a hype they hadcal -- that's a hype they hadcal -- that's a hypothetical. you're concerned about hezbollah getting scud missiles, wouldn't you also be concerned about the lebanese army getting scud missile sfs >> well, again, without going too far down a hypothetical path, you know, we frequently comment on our assessment of what any country might be doing and the impact that with what any country might be doing on regional stability and security.
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we have an ongoing conversation with lebanon, you know, and, you know, the u.n. contributes significantly obviously to civil lebanon as well. but these are decisions that for lebanon to make, not judgments for other countries, neighboring countries, to decide what kind of weaponry might be available to a particular faction that might have an impact -- >> all right. you wouldn't have a problem if -- you wouldn't have a problem with and i'm not going to use the word if, you wouldn't have a problem with lebanon's army acquiring scuds from syria? >> if there's a particular defense need that lebanon or any other country has, we'll be happy to have a conversation with that country in terms of advising them to what the impact of what any notional arms transfer would have on regional stability. but, you know, to the self-defense of lebanon, this is a matter for the sovereign government to decide what -- how
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-- what that serves, not for an armed militia. >> the prime minister of lebanon has -- >> and i understand that. >> disagree with the statement -- >> i understand that. this is part of our intensive dialogue with syria, it's one of the reasons why we want to put an ambassador in place in damascus as soon as possible so that we can make sure there are clear understandings as to behaviors that we think are constructive in the region and behaviors that we think are provocative and counterproductive. go ahead. finish up. >> -- syria, providing arms to hezbollah, not scud missiles. >> i'll take that question. >> and do you have any reaction to the prime minister that you are repeating the same scenario that happened in iraq? >> we're not doing anything but making sure that all nations in
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the region are playing a constructive role to -- and maintaining and providing security. >> do you have anything to say to the person in israel saying that. do you see a fret by israel through such a statement by high officials taking -- talking to a british newspaper, especially such a threat when israel has 200 nuclear bombs and none of the arab countries have any? >> again, i sense an escalation in our questions here. look, one of the reasons why we came into office committed to pursue middle east peace in all of its crux, not just between israeli and palestinians, but israelis and lebanese, israelis and syrians is because we recognize that armed conflict
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is, you know, will not solve the broader conflicts, that this can only be done through an -- through a negotiated settlement, a comprehensive settlement. that's why we're pursuing this as aggressively as we are. >> [inaudible] . >> i'm not aware that we got a particular response last night. i think in various comments, public and private, the syrians have said that the reports are not true. >> are you satisfied with those -- >> we continue to study this issue very closely. >> so you don't -- >> we continue to reserve judgment. >> new topic. >> new topic. >> new topic. sudan. when the u.s. came out, when the obama administration came out with its policy on sudan, it talked about intendtifics and disinincentives in the process. i've seen the at the same times -- statements on the elections but are there any consequences for bashir's government for carrying out such a marred election process? >> well, i think we have to put
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that in a little broader context. as the international monitoring groups have indicated, you know, the recent elections and the results are still pending. you know, did not meet international standards. there are a number of reasons for that. some, you know, based on the fact that, you know, elections have not occurred in sudan for some time. and some because the government did not create the appropriate atmosphere and did not take the steps that should have taken to ensure a free, fair and competitive election. so, and we expressed those concerns before the election and we have expressed those concerns since the election. that said, we also recognize that sudan is facing vitally important decisions and referendum in the coming months. that will shape literallyity future. and, you know, we will work with
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the governments of north and south sudan to continue to press them to fulfill all of their obligations under the comprehensive peace agreement. they have to do -- there are many things they have to specifically do with respect to different parts of sudan from darfur to the south of sudan. to the extent that the government of sudan was looking for redemption or legitimacy in what happened here, they will not -- they will get none of it. but we recognize that there are specific things that we have to do in sudan to prepare the country for the referendum over the next year. there are very important things that need to be done to ensure full implementation of the c.p.a. and among other things to prevent sudan from slipping back into conflict. so, we will engage north and
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south on that basis and prod them, push them, support them as they take steps leading to the referendum next january. >> do you have any comment on the human rights watch report on the u.s. governments turning a blind eye to human rights abuses by the transitional federal government? >> i haven't seen the report. not yet. we'll see if we -- >> if could you, i'd appreciate that. >> ok. >> iran, the turkish foreign minister is in iran, saying that turkey should play a mediating role and turkey could be a site, a third country for any transfer of uranium. i know you've talked about this in the past but this seems to be a more formal announcement. do you see any role for turkey in this? >> of course we see a role for turkey. it is an immediate neighbor of
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iran and whatever happens with respect to iran in the future, you know, turkey is going to experience whatever happens first. so, we recognize that the future of iran as part of the region is vitally important to the united states and other countries in the region. can turkey play a corrective role? of course. are they attempting to do so? yes. do we encourage that? yes. i'll only say that in order to play a mediation role you have to have a country like iran that is actually willing to engage seriously and that's what's been lacking over the past several months. the international community, the united states, you know, p-5 plus one and countries like turkey have been willing to play a corrective role, have been trying -- trying to advance the agreement that was put on the table or proposals put on the table last fall. it has been iran that in no way,
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shape or form, whether it be with the united states, or with turkey, have they been willing to come forward and seek a resolution. >> do you -- the state department has clarified that the suspicion in the imports of -- [inaudible] are not -- [inaudible] what is the current status of that? >> i mean, we put out a response to your very good question yesterday. i can read it here, if you like. but it is not an embargo but we've with craun our certification -- withdrawn our certification of mexico's turtle excluder device because mexico's turtle protection program is not currently comparable to the u.s. program as required by law. >> but the mexican government have mentioned that they are working with you in order to find out if it's possible to reinspect the fleet this year in
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order to make these environmental suspensions as short as possible. >> it is an important issue and in fact in the next couple of weeks we'll have a delegation going down to mexico to talk about this issue further. >> you definitely verify the fact that the turtle excluding devices were not working before you expressed your concern to the mexicans about this, right? it's not a hypothetical introduction of a faulty turtle excluding device. >> god. you lose a hockey game and all of a sudden you become hostile. go ahead. >> why did the state department award a contract for glass crystal stem twire a small interior design firm that had no experience manufacturing glass? >> well, the premise behind your
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question is not true. systems design or f.d.i. has been a wholesaler of glass and crystal ware for over 20 years. prior to f.d.i., lennox, also an american company and f.d.i. is an american company, lennox provided stemware to the department of state and subcontracted that to a production company in germany. from early 2008 the contracting office in conjunction with the program office invited f.d.i. to give a presentation of their capabilities for providing a new requirement for led--- lead-free crystal in glass table top ware which includes a design, production, warehousing, shipping and packaging requests for overseas to u.s. embassies. and f.d.i. demonstrates they could meet the requirements of the state department contracts. so in september, 2009, the state
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department awarded the contract to f.d.i. which is an american minority-owned small business and it is a program participant in the 8-a business development program. we take our commitment to awarding contracts to all types of american small businesses very seriously. and in addition to our small business contracting goals being based in statute as the department's best interest to consider american small businesses whenever possible. >> why was it decided and who decided that the contract should be an 8-a minority contract instead of being bid as a prior contract had been openly bid under lennox? >> i think our contracting office made that decision. >> were there any pre-existing personal relationships between members of the state department staff and the head of this company, f.d.i.? >> not to my knowledge. but you also have to recognize that as far as i know, we'll
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double check this, f.d.i. was the only company to bid on this contract. >> but weren't there other companies who had been in talks with the state department about the contract? >> yes. and none of them bid. >> but how could they have bid if it wasn't open for bidding? >> all right. i'll take that follow-up question. but there have been some suggestion that we selected this company and not others. but it's because the at the end of the day only one company bid on it. >> well, if other companies weren't allowed to bid then that argument is aspecious? . >> the suggestion in some of the reporting is that somehow in doing that we were excluding other qualified companies. we had conversations with a wide range of companies on this contract but at the end of the day they chose not to bid. >> that's a question i have sort of on the sideline. when was the decision made to not -- >> you've exhausted on this one.
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go ahead. >> yesterday one of south korean media reported that there was a high possibility that north korea could conduct the third nuclear test next month or june. do you have any -- >> we're skeptical of that report. but obviously it's an area that we look, watch intensively and we'll keep watching for evidence of any provocative activity. but i would be skeptical of that report. >> skeptical of which -- of what? >> you can watch the rest of this recorded briefing at we leave it now as the house returns to vote on two measures from earlier today. he yeas and nays. proceedings on house resolution 1104 will resume later on in the week. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining votes will be conducted as five-minute votes.
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the unfinished business is the vote on the motion the gentleman from texas, mr. hinojosa, to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1257, on which yeas and nays are ordered the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1257, resolution supporting the goals and ideals of national financial literacy month, 2010, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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an issue that is going to confront, as the circumstances presently are -- exist into members having to make a choice. and my hope is that before that occurs, that we can reach some understanding here that will allow us to have a strong bill that ends too big to fail, that protects consumers. builds the kind of architecture for financial services, that allows us to avoid the pitfalls that caused our economy to reach almost near collapse over the last several years. so the choice is going to come down to sort of like this, mr. president. there are people who can vote to to help debate on financial reform legislation that will hold wall street firms, large financial institutions accountable and prevent future economic crisis, like the one which we are just beginning to emerge or basically defeat this
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somehow, walk out of this chamber and leave us basically where we've been. and that is highly vulnerable. individuals, families, businesses, the overall economy of our country once again exposed to the kind of vulnerablities that brought so much hardship to our country. or, of course, they can block, as they are apt to do some, listen to some consideration of this bill and leave us in a place -- a broken place with the status quo, which, again, would create the kind of problems i described. so you have to ask yourself a question: who benefits -- who benefits for this bill to rein wall street or large financial institutions is strangled by a filibuster? we end up we can't even get to debate the bill. who benefits from that? certainly no one can make the case that the american family would benefit.
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these families have seen millions of jobs lost, trillions in savings wiped out because of the greedy few on wall street gambled with money that didn't even belong to them, causing the hard ship that we've seen in our nation. certainly not the american small businesses, they don't benefit. these are the ones who have seen the flow of credit and capital literally dry up. how many of us in this chamber back in our respective states have talked to small businesses that cannot get a dime worth of credit over the last several years to hire new people, to survive during an economic crisis? anecdote after anecdote after anecdote of businesses desperately trying to find credit in order to survive. because of the unchecked risk taking of financial firms that caused this financial crisis, credit has virtually gone and the american businesses, small businesses particularly, certain will are not benefiting if we're confronted again with the status
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quo and a perpetuation of the senate credit rules. certainly, mr. president, not the american community banks, they don't benefit at all. these are the ones who have found it difficult or even impossible to compete on a playing field tilted so heavily towards the largest firms and, frankly, financial firms that are unregulated. wufn the things that our community -- one of the things that our community banks and others -- and i'm not suggesting that they dot every i and cross every t in the bill, but one of the things they're seeking is some consolidation of recommendations, they want to see their competitors who are not subjected to any regulation be subjected to so they will have to face the same set of rules. the bill that i have written along with my colleagues on the banking committee does just that. we done sol date the regulation so that there's not the overlapping jurisdictions that exist and their major competitors, the nonbank
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financial institutions are going to be subjected to the same rules that they are. that creates that leve playing field that our smaller banks need in order for them to compete effectively. mr. president, certainly not the american taxpayer, they're not going to benefit with the status quo either. these are the people forced to bail out wall street in 2008 and if this bill is blocked, might be asked to do it again. now i'm not in the prediction business, mr. president. but if some future congress goes back to the american public, as we did in the fall of 2008 and ask them to write a check again for $700 billion because we failed to get this legislation through that would end too big to fail, the implicit guarantee that the federal government will bail you out if you're so large or so interconnected that you can't possibly fail, the american people, in my view, would reject overwhelmingly a
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request to write another check for that purpose. and our bill, for the first time, writes into legislation an absolute prohibition that the american taxpayer would ever or should ever be asked to do what they did in the fall of 2008. but, mr. president, here's the benefit if this bill is blocked, the same large financial firms that got us into the mess in the first place, they believe, and i presume they're right, that they can bolster their bottomlines if the status quo prevails. they can continue to take outrageous risks, along with using other people's money, knowing that any profit is theirs to keep and any loss will be made up by the american taxpayer. they're the ones. that's why we're faced with this prediction that 41 of our fellow colleagues here will vote against us going to this bill on what they call the motion to proceed to the bill.
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the letter from the minority leader has said we've got 41 votes here to stop you from debating this bill. when you explain that to the american taxpayer t, to the smal business to the american family and others out there paying the price because this mess that the american institutions who today are leading the charge against getting to bail, explain to them why the status quo is in their interest and their benefit. mr. president, those who vote to block this bill will be sending a clear message to american families, businesses, community bankers and taxpayers and that message will be, i'm sorry, but we're not on your side. we're choosing another side of this equation. last month my good friend, the minority leader, and the republican senator responsible for campaign fundraising participated and ended up meeting in new york with wall street executives. and that happens all the time.
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certainly have right to sit down and talk with people, represent labor and business. we should do that. but nobody knows what was talked about at that meeting when you come back and, again with our friend and colleague, who chairs the campaign committee, comes back right afterwards and all a sudden we get this rhetoric about too big to fail, we can't possibly go to this bill. i was born at night, mr. president, but not last night. born at night, but not last night. don't tell me that miraculously these things happen and awful a sudden we find -- all of a sudden we find themselves with, once again, 41 colleagues, many of whom i suspect are not overly enthusiastic about this game plan and say, don't ask why, don't tell us what's in the bill, just tell us we're going to line up and say no matter what anyone says or does or tries to do, we're going to object to even going to this bill. i firmly believe that there's more than a small minority of my
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republican colleagues who, frankly, find that argument objectionable, and that's not to suggest they like this bill or agree with every position in it. but i know them well enough to know that they're sick and tired of being told how you're going to have to vote on a procedural motion on a matter i think deserves at least the support of our colleagues to begin that important debate. and what we do know, of course, about the opposition to going forward is that the republican leadership returned armed with some very false talking points. talking points written by a political strategist with close ties to large financial institutions. talking points that have been debunked by the independent media analysis and even republicans like fdic chairman sheila baird. let me point out, madam president, the memo that suggested this game plan written by the political strategist was written long before even one
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word has was written on the bill. they were told how to fight the bill that didn't even exist out here by akiewtion the bill of -- accusing the bill of leaving open the too big to fail, even though they knew, at least those who read the bill, that those provisions had been written so tight that no one could possibly argue that too big to fail would ever be allowed again. the republican leadership in return promising that every member of their caucus would vote to kill this bill before the debate even began. madam president, i know for a fact that members of this body on both sides of the aisle want to pass a good bill. my colleagues here know me well, and they know my reputation over the years. i have never, ever passed a major piece of legislation in this body over three decades when i have not had the cooperation and backing of a member or members on the other side of the aisle, never once.
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on every major piece of legislation i have been involved in. and here we are on the brink of going forward with the largest -- the single largest proposal to reform the financial services sector of our country, and we're divided here like a couple of petulant teenagers. instead of sitting around and coming together as i have offered for months to get behind a bill that will allow us to go forward. it's long over due that we grow up and recognize that this isn't some, you know, athletic contest. this is about whether or not our economy can get back on its feet, whether or not we can grow and prosper and create jobs, have credit flow and credit formed so that businesses and wealth can be created. nothing less than that is at stake in this debate and discussion. all the more reason why we need to go forward, and to go forward like adults, like members of the greatest deliberative body we are told over and over aga in the history of mankind, the united states senate to resolve these matters.
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i have worked for hours with my colleague from alabama, as he well knows, senator shelby, to the point that he has said -- and i commend him for it and i appreciate it very much, that we are 80% of the way to a bipartisan consensus. in fact, i suspect that if richard shelby were asked today whether that number was 80%, i suspect he would even have a higher number. imagine being between 80% and 90% in agreement and yet we're being told by the minority we can't go forward. do we have to write the whole bill? is that how we go forward? you have 80% or 90%, what you think is a good bill, but oh, no, we're going to stop any further debate. in all my years, i have never heard of such an argument, whether i have been in the minority or the majority, that i agree with 80% or 90% of what you have written, senator, but i'm sorry, we are going to have to stop even considering any further debate on the floor of the united states senate. i have worked for many hours with the senator from tennessee, bob corker, to try to get to
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hundred% as he well knows. no matter what was said in the meetings between the republican leadership and wall street executives, the fact is that the bill that i will be bringing to the floor reflects not only a bipartisan input but good common sense as well. and if you look at what the bill actually does, it's clear that there is no ideology here, just one principle. hold wall street and large financial institutions accountable so that american families and businesses can grow and thrive without fear of another economic catastrophe. the bill, madam president, creates an early warning system so that for the very first time in our nation's history, someone will be in charge of monitoring our entire financial system to look out for emerging products and practices and problems not just here at home, madam president, but even globally. again, i don't think you would have to have a ph.d. in economics to know that what we read in the headlines and heard on our news shows a few weeks
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ago that there were major economic problems in the small nation of greece, that all of a sudden the financial system of every other nation around the world was at risk. and in that small exchange in shanghai, china, began to decline by 12% a few years ago, every other exchange around the globe within hours was adversely affected. that market, that exchange, madam president, represented less than 5% of the volume of the new york stock exchange, and yet because it declined by 12% one morning, every other exchange around the world reacted. what more do i need to say about whether or not our issues here are global in scope, not just domestic? so, again, even further reason why we need to be able to pull together and create this bill that is essential. so we have a warning system in place that will monitor the financial system. as i said, look out for products, practices, and even problems that can emerge in other parts of the world, if
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they could pose the kind of risk that would bring our financial system to near collapse. under the status quo, of course, no regulator can see beyond the narrow silo of their own radar screen, and we changed that. this now involves all of these prudential regulators sitting in a systemic risk council, headed up by the federal reserve and the treasury here so they can actually look over the horizon and act as a financial radar system. what's going on out there? are there problems emerging in products or s&p 500 or nations that could bring our country to near financial disaster? if we had had that in place back a few years ago, i would argue we might not find ourselves where we are today. so this is one of our provisions in the bill. what a pity it would be not to lose the opportunity to create that kind of an early warning system. that's how the subprime leading -- lending sector was able to grow so large despite
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the dangers it posed to our economy and why no one was able to stop it before it precipitated a crisis. madam president, i don't believe members of the minority caucus really want regulators to be unaware of emerging threats to our financial system. the bill brings new transparency and accountability as well to financial dealings by ensuring that even the most complicated or obscure transactions are concluded in an open marketplace. the presiding officer, of course, is well versed and talented, coming from the empire state understands these issues. we happen to believe, i believe, that driefts, for instance -- that derivatives, for instance, are a very important component to growth and prosperity. they have become a pejorative, unfortunately. but my view has been let the markets work. now, how do the markets work best? markets work best when there is transparency, when buyers and
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sellers, investors have an opportunity to see with clarity what these instruments are, what they are designed to do. right now we have a shadow economy where some of these instruments operate in the darkness, and that's one of the problems that created the financial mess we are in. ourill opens up, sheds light, brings sunshine to these instruments so that taxpayers and more importantly investors and others can honestly understand what they are, what they are intended to do and how they can possibly -- how they work. for the first time here, madam president, we would force risky financial companies like bear stearns and lehman brothers that have operated in the shadow of the banking system to be the subject of proper supervision again so we have the ability to understand what they are doing. of course, under the status quo, these dangerous giants that have been free to take enormous gambles in a single-minded quest for maximum profit and when they
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go down like the hindenburg, taxpayers are left to clean up the rubble. madam president, i don't believe that members of the minority caucus really want to leave the next lehman brothers unsupervised until its collapse shakes the very foundations of our economy. this bill that i have -- that we have before us beefs up the s.e.c. oversight, it strengthens protections for investors and gives shareholders a greater voice in how executives are compensated and how big their bonuses can get. under the status quo, of course, the same executives whose mismanagement caused the collapse of financial giants get to collect ridiculous bonuses again. kill the bill. there is nothing in here that would preclude the same kind of abuses, the outrageous gouging, if you will, at taxpayer expense by a handful of these executives who fail to understand or if they understand even more
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outrageously were willing to reward themselves for their own failures because the american taxpayer shored up their financial institution. and the allen stanfords, bernie madoffs of the world are able to rip off investors for billions while the understaffed and underfunded s.e.c., the securities and exchange commission, fails to stop it. madam president, i don't believe that members of the minority caucus, the republican caucus, really want to leave these executives free to line their pockets with unearned billions or leave investors vulnerable to wall street predators and con artists. that's what's happened, that's what went on. our bill stops it. we need to be able to go forward with this bill. our bill requires full disclosures in plain english, madam president, so that americans can easily understand the risks and returns of any financial product, whether it's a mortgage or a student loan. and our bill creates an independent consumer protection agency, a watchdog with bark and
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bite to protect consumers from the abusive practices that have become almost standard operating procedures. skyrocketing credit card interest rates, the explosion in checking account fees, predatory lending by mortgage firms and so much more. and you don't have to educate the american people. you will hear it over and over again from your own constituents. listen to what they have been through with these increased interest rates, interest fees. every gimmick you can think of to pick the pocket of the american taxpayer who today necessarily needs to depend on credit cards in order to make ends meet in their families. of course, under the status quo, madam president, consumers trying to make smart decisions about their family finances are confronted with a sea of fine print, technical jargon, and they are vulnerable to the predatory lenders and the greedy predators that have taken advantage of them. our bill stops that, our bill
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puts an end to that. if we don't get the chance to debate this and go forward, that will be the end of it. what a disgrace it will be to be confronted as we were at the outset of this congress with the problems the american taxpayer have been through. 8.5 million jobs lost, seven million homes in foreclosure, retirement accounts evaporated, small businesses failing, and we did nothing to stop it. despite the fact that 80% or 90% of what i have written in this bill is agreed to by many in the minority, but you won't even allow the bill to go forward to be debated. for the life of me, i don't understand that logic. in short, madam president, this bill protects the american consumer, american businesses, community banks. as i mentioned, taxpayers, from the very exact situation that occurred in 2008. an economic crisis brought about by wall street high jinks, large financial institutions and regulatory failures. and our bill creates a stronger foundation, i might add, on
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which we can rebuild the prosperity that we have lost in our nation over the last number of years. madam president, i don't believe that members of the republican minority, our friends and colleagues here, want to kill this bill. i don't want to believe that. unlike other matters we have debated over this congress, this matter ought to be one where we can come together, as i have tried to do, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, to craft a piece of legislation that reflected the myriad views embraced by the members of this senate. and we are on the brink of going forward and i will go forward with this bill. now, we can do it one of several different ways. we can go forward and i will bring this bill up. the leader, i'm told, will offer a motion to proceed. my hope is we won't have to have a vote on that, that there would be enough common sense here to say this is a good product, even for those who don't like various and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on
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the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from tennessee, and agree to house resolution 1271, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1271, resolution honoring the life and achievements of dr. bean gentleman minimum lawson hooks. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house agree to the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 405.
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 407, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the house will be in order.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that i may here after be considered as the first sponsor of h.r. 1868, a bill introduced by representative deal of georgia, for the purpose of adding co-sponsors, requesting reprinting. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas rise? ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, on last thursday, april 15, i was away from this house on a matter dealing with constituency and official business regarding nasa and i'd like to submit into the record the following votes if i had been present. i would like to call out roll call -- roll call vote 2004 on agreeing to the resolution, h.res. 1248, if i'd be present i would have voted aye.
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roll call vote 2005 on a motion to suspend the rules, h.res. 1062, if i'd been present i would have voted aye. roll call vote 2006 on a notion -- motion to refer h.res. 1255, if i'd been present i would have voted aye. roll call vote 2007 on agreeing to the amendment h.r. 4715, the shea-porter of new hampshire aimed, i would have voted aye. for roll call vote 2008 on a motion to recommit to amend the federal water pollution control act, i would have voted no. for roll call vote 2009 on passage of h.r. 4715 to amend the federal water pollution control act, final passage, i would have voted aye. for roll call vote 2010 on a motion to suspend the rules, congratulating the duke university, i would have voted aye. and for roll call vote 2011 of h.r. 4851, in a motion to concur with the amendment, 4851, on continuing extension of unemployment benefits, swri voted aye. i ask unanimous consent to have it placed in the record at the
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appropriate place. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman's statement will be in the record. the house will be in order. will members please take their conversations off the floor? for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 2-a-1 of rule 9, i notify of house of my intention to offer are resolution of the privileges of the house. the form of my resolution is as follows. whereas the committee on standards of official conduct initiated an investigation into allegations related to earmarks and campaign contributions in the spring of 2009. whereas on december 2, 2009, reports and findings on seven separate matters involving the alleged connection between earmarks and campaign contributions were forwarded to the office of congressional ethics -- i'm sorry, by the
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office of congressional ethics to the standards committee. whereas on february 26, 2010, the standards committee made public its report on the matter where in the -- wherein the committee found the widespread perception exists among corporations and lobbyists that campaign contributions provide a greater chance of obtaining earmarks, there's no evidence he that members or their staff consider contributions when requests earmarks. whereas the committee indicated that with respect to the matters forwarded to the office of congressional ethics, the evidence cited or the o.c.e.'s findings, nor the evidence in the record before the standards committee provided a substantial reason to believe that violations of applicable standards of conduct occurred. whereas the office of congressional ethics is prohibited from reviewing activities taking place prior to march of 2008 and lacks the authority to subpoena witnesses and documents. whereas, for example, the office of congressional ethics noted that in some instances documents were redacted and -- or specific
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information was not provided and that in at least one instance they had reason to believe a witness with held information requested and did not identify what was being with held. whereas the office of congressional ethics also noted they were only able to interview six former employees of the p.m.a. group, with many former employees refusing to consent to interviews and the o.c.e. unable to obtain evidence within p.m.a.'s possession. whereas "roll call" noted that the committee report was five pages long and included no documentation of any evidence collected or any interviews conducted by the committee beyond a statement that the investigation included extensive document reviews and interviews with numerous witnesses. whereas it is unclear whether the standards committee included in their investigation any activities that occurred prior to 2008. whereas it is unclear whether the standards committee interviewed any members in the course of their investigation. whereas it is unclear whether the standards committee in the course of their investigation initiated their own subpoenas or
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followed the office of congressional etics' recommendation to issue subpoenas -- ethicsee recommendation to issue subpoenas -- ethics' recommendation to issue subpoenas. the committee on standards of official conduct shall report to the house of representatives with respect to the activities addressed in its report of february 26, 2010, one, how many witnesses were interviewed, two, how many if any subpoenas were issued in the course of their investigation, and, three, what documents were reviewed and their availability for public review. the speaker pro tempore: under rule 9, a resolution offered from the floor by a member other than the majority leader or minority leader as a question of privileges of the house has immediate precedence only at a time designated by the chair within two legislative days after the resolution is properly noticed. pending that designation, the form of the resolution noticed by the gentleman from arizona will appear in the record at this point. the chair will not at this point determine whether the resolution institutes a question of
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privilege -- constitutes a question of privilege. that determination will be made at the time designated for consideration of the resolution. the chair will entertain a motion for one-minute speeches. . >> i rise in strong support of our nation's veterans and thank chairman filner. tomorrow, the house is expected to consider s. 1963, major legislation to improve the v.a., which includes legislation which i introduced, the caring of veterans with traumatic brain injury acts. veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, my bill considers the signature wound. we must continue our efforts to
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provide veterans and their families with the best possible health care and the committee will help provide improved education and training programs for our health professionals, which will benefit our men and women returning from combat. i want to thank all our men and women serving in our armed forces as well as our nation's veterans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. woiment ms. ros-lehtinen: we should not be doubling down on a failed middle east policy by pressuring israel to make further concessions, including on jerusalem israel's undivided capital. holocaust survivor wazel wrote, quote, jerusalem is above politics. it be longs to the jewish people
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and it is much more than a city and it is what binds one jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. today for the first time in history, jews, christians and muslims all may freely worship at their shrines and contrary to certain media reports, jews, christians and muslims are allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. the anguish over jerusalem is not about real estate, but about memory, end quote. what is the solution, mr. speaker? well, certainly not more pressure on our friend and our trusted ally israel, while not holding others accountable for their actions. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio rise? for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: permission to address the house for one minute
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and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, back in march, a small foundation in elk count, pennsylvania gave its million dollar. the elk county community foundation has grown during the 10 years to accomplish 68 permanent charitable funds. by managing these funds, the foundation improves the quality of life in elk county. the revenues earned provide grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizes and individuals. on their anniversary, the foundation celebrated that the central host company in ridgeway recently received a grant to help with the purchase of new equipment for its tanker truck. it is this type ofen rossity for which the foundation is known. the foundation executive director says that every fund has a story, from nursing to music to awarding scholarships. i commend the foundation
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president and all associated with the foundation for their work in helping both donors and recipients and wish them another productive 10 years of service. i yield back the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. burgess: permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. burg comburg tomorrow, we -- mr. burgess: we were to have a hearing in energy and commerce on a company that restated their earnings as a result of passing the misguided health care bill last month. these companies were performing under the securities and exchange commission and under the federal accounting standards board. some of the restatement of earnings that you see here on this poster, the chairman of the committee on energy and commerce thought that these restatement of earnings were done to embarrass the president on the signing of the bill. in fact, this was a loop hoe
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hole that was closed by a senator on christmas eve and the loophole was to undoe these companies in order to prevent retirees from collecting benefits. win-win situation for the employer and retiree. unfortunately, there are many things like this in this health care bill that will be coming forward. this hearing was canceled after it was pointed out to the chairman that these companies were just restating earnings as they were required to do under the law. but many of the other provisions in this bill are going to be coming out over the next several months. we are entering into phase b. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. burgess: i ask this congress to exercise its oversight authority over the department of health and human services as these rules are written. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise --
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i'm sorry, minnesota. mr. paulsen: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. paulsen: i rise to recognize our great ally israel. as a standard bearer for democracy in the middle east, israel is of critical importance to the united states. since the declaration of the state of israel in 1948, they have consistently shown the power of democracy in a very volatile part of the world. their achievements cannot be understated. the per capita g.d.p. in israel is under $30,000 and average life span is under 30 years. they consistently keep their citizens safe despite the security threats. the fact that israel continues to grow in population at an annual increase of 1.8% is a strong signal of the nation's strength. today, let us recognize israel and their many achievements and
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let us remember the bond between the united states and israel that must continue to be protected. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? mr. boozman: ask permission to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor mitch mc cork le who is retiring after 50 years of serving. mitch has demonstrated his ability to innovate time and time again by building fire trucks that are uniquely suited to the landscape of northwest arkansas. the longest serving fire chief, mitch was a visionary in terms of what can be done with a volunteer department. mitch's pride in doing his job and serving his community is an example to be followed and has made west fork a better place.
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west fork will be losing a fire chief and i commend mitch his service as the fire chief for west fork, his passion for protecting our citizens and continued commitment to our safety. i wish him continued success in his endeavors and i ask my colleagues to join me in honoring mitch, a fire chief whose continued devotion to the 3rd district of arkansas will never be forgotten. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. lung lung i asked if i could borrow this display here, which really should have minuses in front of all these numbers, because essentially, these companies had to file in their financial reports the losses that they will incur
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immediately as a result of the passage and signing into law of the health care reform bill. now, that's bad enough. but even worse was the initial response by this house to them following the law. it was to receive a letter commanding their c.e.o.'s come before a subcommittee of this house with all of their internal documents as to how they could come up with this position. now, think about it. this is one of the concerns many of us expressed about having the government take over medical care in this country to the extent this bill allows it. if you criticize the government, you will be called to heal before the committee of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: that clause has been removed but they received a letter that says congress will continue watching.t independenc this is what we fought against.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. bishop of georgia for today, ms. johnson of texas for today, ms. kilpatrick of michigan for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address this house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material, myself, mr. poe for april 26 and 27. mr. posey for april 22. mr. jones for april 26 and 27. mr. burton for today, april 21, 22 and 23. mr. moran for april 26 and 27.
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ms. ros-lehtinen for today and april 21. mr. rohrabacher for today. ms. foxx for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes to revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material. ms. woolsey from california, ms. lee from california, ms. brown, california. miskaptur, ohio. mr. defazio, oregon. ms. jackson lee, texas. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009 and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each. ms. woolsey from california. ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, for those of us who want to live in
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a world without nuclear weapons, there is very little good news, very little to celebrate over the last decade or so. the previous administration showed barely any interest in eradicating the nuclear threat. but now, finally, with the recently signed start treaty between the united states and russia, there is cause for optimism and hope for future and further progress. in negotiating this agreement, i'm pleased that president obama has embraced the principles of the no nukes resolution, which is house resolution 333, that i have introduced in the congress, and the smart security approach i have championed for years. much of the attention paid to arms control issues focuses on north korea and the looming possibility of a nuclear threat from iran. and of course, these are gravely
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important matters to grapple with. but the fact is that more than 90% of the world's nuclear capability rests with the two cold war superpowers. so a serious commitment to nonproliferation must begin with a bilateral u.s.-rush approach -- u.s. russia approach. this start is a 30% reduction in the number of allowed deployed strategic warheads from a maximum of 2,2000 to 1,500. the treaty is far from perfect. in fact, i'm disappointed that it places no restrictions on the development of missile defense programs, which have delivered little bang for the taxpayer buck over the last several decades. but it is crucial that our senate colleagues move quickly
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to ratify this treaty. hopefully the pakistan -- partisan obstructionism that we have seen over and over again on the other side of the aisle will be laid aside on this matter of national security. we now have momentum on this issue. the president speaks this week on important breakthruse on the nuclear security summit. the hearing will discuss spreading the threat of nuclear weapons and combating nuclear terrorism. we cannot let up, mr. speaker. because there is difficult work ahead. and because the new start treaty with russia really doesn't go far enough. we can't be satisfied with incremental steps. 1,550 nuclear war heads is still 1,550 too many.
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just one of them, just one of them has the power to lead carnage so devastating, it would make 9/11 look like a minor traffic accident. in an op ed, the leaders for social responsibility reminded us in vivid terms what a nuclear strike would mean, and i quote, a single hiroshima-sized bomb detonated in new york city col kill over 250,000 people and cause somewhere between $2 trillion and $10 trillion in damage. they continue, a large-scale nuclear exchange with russia would kill more than 100 million americans in the first half hour. it would block out the sun and in a matter of days, the average temperature would plummet 18 degrees faren height to levels
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not seen on in depth. agriculture would seize to exist throughout the northern hemisphere and billions of people would starve in the following months. . that's why the new start must be the start and not the end of our commitment to eliminate nuclear weaponry once and for all. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. mr. poe from texas. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. i bring you news from the third front, that being the southern border with our neighbor mexico. the first front being iraq, the second front being afghanistan. we're engaged in three conflicts, three wars. and the third front is our
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conflict on the border, the border war with the drug cartels. the $40 billion a year he list drug trade in mexico has resulted in a vicious wave of violence in northern mexico and the united states. president calderon of mexico has said in the last few years, 23,000 mexicans have been killed and murdered on the streets of mexico. to put it in perspective, that is over twice the murder-homicide race in the united states. recently there were two incursions by mexican military helicopters across the texas-mexico border into the united states and their intentions are still unknown. those incursions were about three weeks apart. some here in washington question whether these astonishing reports of mexican military helicopters actually were true. well, here's a photograph, mr. speaker, that was taken by some individuals in zapata county,
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texas. that is on the border with mexico. this is an r.v. park. and this is one of those mexican military helicopters. it's a russian-made built helicopter. it has the word marine on the side, that being the mexican navy helicopter. and this incursion was taken -- the photograph was taken by more than one individual. photographs of the first incursion were also taken. and the question remains, why is the mexican military helicopter coming into the united states and why is our government silent about their intention? we do not know. you know, the international criminal drug cartels are just that, they're international. they're connected to terrorist organizations worldwide and they make their money selling drugs to fund their narco terrorism. which begs the question, why are americans allowing mexican military helicopters to invade our air space? i wish we had an answer from our government. are they protecting drug shipments in the united states? we don't know. are they doing something else?
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we don't know. this photograph by the way, this helicopter is over two miles into the united states. the texas-mexico border is not like arizona and new mexico and california. there's a river in between. it's hard to miss the river when you fly over it. so, it's obviously not a mistake on the part of whoever's flying this helicopter. you know, the primary duty of government is to protect the people. but the federal government, our government, has gotten so big and stuck its nose in so many places it doesn't belong, it's no longer in my opinion performing its primary duty, protecting the people. congress seems to be a little bit more concerned about steroids in baseball than they are concerned about protecting our border from people who come across without permission. at the el paso sector of the border patrol in texas, our agents now are being targeted by the azteca hitmen of the juarez drug cartel. what that means is this, the juarez drug cartel is bringing dope in the united states.
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our border patrol is doing an excellent job, best that we will let them do, of preventing that from occurring. so they have hired their own hitmen, the azteca hitmen, to target our border patrol agents. our border patrol agents have a $250,000 bounty on their head for being border patrol agents, for trying to do their job. and that's -- they are being targeted for kidnapping or murder. it makes no difference. i think that ought to upset some of us here in washington, d.c. you know, the azteca gang works for the juarez drug cartel, they protect drug shipments that are brought into the united states. it gets bad down in texas and the texas-mexico border. i recently asked a texas ranger, i said, what's it like after dark on the texas-mexico border? and he made comment, it gets western. that's right, mr. speaker, it gets western. it's like the old west shootouts. you know, week of heard about all the shootings in northern mexico and it's only a matter of time before they shoot their way
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across the border into the united states. this is serious. this is violent. and it's being perpetrated by the drug cartels against americans both in mexico and the united states. but it's also being perpetrated against mexican nationals that live in mexico. you know, we shouldn't wait until something worse happens before we do something about it. it's important that we protect the dignity of our nation. because it's the first duty of government to protect the people of the united states. we should be sending the national guard down to the border. this has been talked about before, but yet nothing has happened. the texas governor and other state governors have asked that the national guard be deployed on the border. why not? it's interesting, mr. speaker, we protect the borders of other nations with our military but we don't protect our own border with the national guard. the question is, why not? you know, it's time that we act otherwise we delay at our own peril, mr. speaker. and that's just the way it is. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. lee from california. ms. lee: thank you. mr. speaker, today we lost an american treasure with the passing of dr. dorothy eye recent height. a matriarch of the civil rights movement, a staunch advocate for women's rights and an all-around -- all around phenomenal woman. dr. height was a bold and brilliant african-american woman who blazed many trails and opened many doors to the american dream for women and people of color. tonight i join with people around the world as we mourn the death and celebrate the life of dr. height and the ask that my comments be included with those of the special order that congresswoman diane watson will be anchoring this evening. throughout her life -- thank you. throughout her life dr. height worry many hats, both literally
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and -- wore many hats, both literally and figuratively. she wore them with elegance and dignity, with excellence and determination. from her legendary stewardship as a sorority to her unprecedented 41-year tenure at the helm of the national council of negro women, dr. height was a woman of courage and strength. dr. height's commitment to equality was reflected in so many of her pursuits. in the 1930's, for example, dr. height traveled across the united states to encourage -- encourage wy -- ywca chapters to be interracial. after dedicating more than 60 years of her life to the ywca, she remained proudest of her efforts to direct the ywca's attention to the issues of civil rights and racial justice. she was committed to this work. in fact, dr. height was the first director of its new center for racial justice.
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this was in 1965, i believe it was in new york. imagine, though, the resistance that she felt and that she was faced with in her efforts to desegregate the ywca in the 1930's. as the leader of the united christian youth movement of north america, she worked to desegregate the armed forces, prevent lynching, reform the criminal justice system and establish free access to public accusations -- accommodations. at a time when racial segregation was standard and resistance to integration was often very fierce, dr. height forever remained true to her convictions, even when it was not the comfortable thing to do. a life long advocate for peace, equality and justice, dr. height was especially committed to empowering women and girls. she stood toe to toe with the great male civil rights giants of our time.
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steadfast in her dedication to ensure that black women's needs were addressed. she was forever dedicated to helping women achieve full and equal employment, pay and education. dr. height was instrumental in establishing a multicultural wednesday in mississippi. this was a program to assist freedom schools and voter registration drives. she knew that the fight for racial justice and for women's equality go hands in hand. as -- hand in hand. dr. height led the ncnw in helping women and families combat hunger. she also established the women's center for education and career achievement in new york city, to prepare women for entry into jobs and careers. during her tenure as president of the ncnw they were able to buy a beautiful building just a few blocks from here on pennsylvania avenue and to this day it is the only african-american-owned building on pennsylvania avenue.
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which is on the site where slave traders legally operated a center slave market and where an -- in 1848, 76 lanes, including emily and mary edmonds, attempted to escape to the underground railroad. dr. height said and this is her quote, it seems providentialal that we stand today on the shoulders of our anshefters -- ancestors with an opportunity to claim the site and sustain a strong presence for freedom and for justice. i tell you, dr. height remained a fighter until her last breath. last year she attended president obama's first signing of the lilly ledbetter act, his first bill he signed into law. she was present here for the unveiling of the shirley chisholm portrait here in the capitol. she worked diligently on various issues with the black woman's round table and the black leadership forum and often participated on panels here in capitol hill, just recently she
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joined us in our efforts to support the 2010 census. we always knew that we were in the presence of greatness and we always knew, especially now as chair of the congressional black caucus, that dr. height, when we called, she'd be there to support our efforts. we mourn the loss tonight of dr. height, we celebrate her life and her legacy. we love you, dr. height. and we promise to continue your legacy of service to humankind. may your soul rest in peace. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. jones from north carolina. >> i'd like to claim the time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? mr. burton: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes, revise and extends my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burton: mr. speaker, tonight i was going to talk about the health care bill and how it's going to affect at&t, $1 billion they're going to be out, john deere, $150 million, caterpillar, $100 million.
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prudential, $100 million. all these companies are going to be -- their bottom line is going to be reduced by all this money because of the health care bill that wasn't supposed to hurt our economy at all. but it's going to. it's going to hurt the bottom line of all these companies and it's going to affect the people that work for them, they're going to be laying people off, they're going to be going offshore, many of these companies, because of this. and it's something that wasn't talked about during the health care debate. but the american people were against the bill and if they knew this they'd really be against the bill. but the thing i want to talk about tonight is my good friend, congressman poe, was just down here and usually when i come down here to give a talk at night, i have a subject like this i'm going to talk about, but he said some things during his five-minute special order think a wish all my colleagues who may be watching back in their offices and if i were talking to the american people i would wish that they could hear what he had to say. and if the gentleman would rise so i could ask you a question. mr. poe, did i understand you correctly when you said that there's a bounty of $250,000 on
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our border patrol agents down there by the drug cartels? mr. poe: will the gentleman yield? mr. burton: yes. mr. poe: yes. in the western part of texas, near el paso, the juarez drug cartel operates bringing drugs into the united states. they have hitmen that are called the azteca gang and they have been specifically hired as to target our border patrol agents, $250,000 bounty on their head for kidnapping or murdering of them. that is correct. mr. burton: you know, i wasn't aware of that and i doubt if any of my colleagues, our colleagues, were aware of that. the sheriffs and all the law enforcement agencies down there, they're aware of it as well? mr. poe: law enforcement is aware of this situation. all the law enforcement is aware. mr. burton: who in the world would want to be a border patrol agent or work on that border if
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they know that there's a $250,000 bounty on their head by the drug cartels? mr. poe: i don't know. they're amazing people, the law enforcement, all of them, the federal agents, the state agents, the sheriffs, local law enforcement. they're amazing people who work on the border because they're outgunned, outfinanced by the drug cartels. mr. burton: and you showed a helicopter, a mexican helicopter, that was in the united states air space and there's no explanation for that as well. mr. poe: that's right that helicopter was in zapata county, in the -- into the united states, a mile and a half, two miles across the river border and yet to find out why that helicopter was there. another one was in the united states about three weeks prior to this one. mr. burton: and no american troops, national guard or military of any kind is down there augmenting -- augmenting the border patrol agents that are risking their lives every day? mr. poe: that's correct. the border patrol on their own -- are on their own.
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mr. burton: what i would like to do, representative poe, under your leadership, i'd like to work with you to get a letter signed to the president of the united states talking about this bounty that's on our border patrol agents' heads and ask him and the governors of those states to do whatever is necessary to protect that border and to make sure that our border patrol agents aren't at risk like they are today. that's just terrible. i can't believe that. and if we could get a bunch of members to sign a letter like that, maybe we could wake up the administration to the problem and get some additional help down there. because as you know, they're coming -- you of all people know, they're coming across in droves and they're using all kinds of methods to bring drugs into this country and they're killing americans. wasn't there an american killed a couple of miles inside the border just a week or two ago? mr. poe: yes. in arizona. a rancher was killed by people crossing the border into the united states and people illegally in the united states. .
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mr. burton: i would like to draft a letter to the president that there is a bounty to kill border patrol agents by the drug cartels. this is something that the american people need to know about and i'm so happy that you brought this up tonight and i will work with you to make sure we stop it. and i want to go down to the border to see this thing firsthand. mr. poe: glad to work with you. mr. burton: everybody in this body owes you a debt of gratitude. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. ms. brown from florida. without objection. ms. kaptur: i ask unanimous consent to insert extraneous material into the record. woiment. ms. kaptur: wall street speculation and the disaster it
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caused had been clear since the bailout in the fall of 2008. more foreclosures on main street, higher profits for wall street. i fought against that bailout and continue to fight for main street and the people who are not high-powered gamblers or investors nor the mega banks. i would like people to regain their jobs, people to save their homes and for people to have their hope restored. i have been oak the u.s. securities and exchange commission taking a baby step long overdue as watchdog of the markets they are supposed to be regulating as enforcer of securities law. as the "new york times" reported, rather than that goldman misrepresented a product they were selling, the grounds for securities fraud, the securities and exchange commission said in a civil lawsuit filed on friday that the investment bank misled customers
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about how the product was created. in fact, the s.e.c. can only file civil cases so it's high time to look at the apparent criminal fraud involved in and around the hidden workings of wall street and the financial crisis it precipitated. i introduced the financial crisis, authorizing the director of f.b.i. to hire 1,000 additional agents and forensic accounting experts to look into the misdeeds that brought down our economy. the f.b.i. is beefing up their ranks during the fraud, 1,000 agents as well as forensic experts exacted justice. today, if there are even 300 over there doing part-time work on this, that would be a high
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number. back in the 1980's, 1990's that cost $170 billion put squarely on the back of our taxpayers. the 2008 financial crisis could cost our people trillions of dollars. it must be the focus of the department of justice to find and fight the fraud in our financial system and they simply need more financial white collar crime agents to do so. citizens following the law have nothing to fear. those committing criminal acts should know they will be caught. that is why in addition to authorizing more f.b.i. agents h.r. 3995 authorizes the hiring of more prosecutors in the department of justice to take those cases to trial. in trial, the s.e.c. has an important role in enforcement as shown on friday of last week and h.r. 3995 strengthens the s.e.c. by authorizing the hiring of more investigators. many groups support this effort and recognize the necessity of
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ensuring our financial system is rid of these criminals and also pointing out whose profited from the harm that has been caused to the american people. no one knows exactly how much the financial crisis of 2008 will cost our taxpayers, but one way to lessen that blow to them is to claw back to the those who did it to our republic detriment. we want those to be held accountable and h.r. 3995 supports the agencies that can work for real justice. i ask my colleagues to support this bill and support the agency's task with finding and fighting massive fraud. furthermore, congress should be assured that the department of justice is on task to find and fight this fraud. the charges against goldman sachs, the speculators there by the s.e.c. have had a wave of response. and in the "new york times," letters to the editor, a special
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agent and senior executive of the f.b.i. and as an associate deputy director wrote to "the times." the f.b.i. and justice department should immediately open an investigation in the apparent fraud that occurred. he states that out of concern that the s.e.c.'s civil charges might result in future criminal charges, being impossible as evidence in civil trials can be excluded as inadmissible from criminal trials ifity is used first in a criminal trial. i agree and i'm asking the attorney general to investigate goldman sachs and other related cases to find and fight fraud. many questions are yet to be answered in situations investigated. how much was under the watch of goldman sachs, the former secretary of the department of treasury, who then bailed out the big banks with which he was so intimately implicated. a.i.g. must be one of these case
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ies since goldman sachs was the largest recipients. goldman's excessive profits in its first quarter have gone up $3. billion. imagine if you could borrow $and lend that money out you would be making billions, too. and it's about other banks and other firms, hedge funds, fraud is against the law and fraud appears to be rampant and getting away with it. we need to be investigating and catching the criminals and leading those who abide the law alone. i fought the bailout because i was concerned that rampant fraud was highly likely and congress needs to fight fraud. i ask my colleagues to sign the letter we have composed to attorney general holder asking for a criminal investigation
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with fraud related to these institutions and invite my colleagues to co-sponsor h.r. 3995. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. moran from kansas. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask permission to claim mr. moran's time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i rise tonight to recognize the vital work of an important south florida organization called our kids of miami-dade and monroe. since the year of 2005 our kids has worked to ensure that at-risk, abused, neglected and abandoned children are afforded to grow up in safe, permanent families. as a grandmother and former educator, i recognize the great opportunity that our kids has to fully support at-risk children.
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under the leadership of the c.e.o. and the board chairman, our kids has risen to the challenge and given direction to our local child protection system. since 2005, our kids has created over 1,600 families through child focus family-centered adoption and created an environment of seamless, cohesive and comprehensive service that has led to a 15% increase in children who are adopted within 24 months of entering federal governmenter care. that means today there are 36% fewer children in federal governmenter care in miami and in the florida keys. this is a remarkable achievement in such a short time frame and i applaud the progress. there are too many children left to grow up without a strong family support system upon which they can rely. and sadly it is more often than
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not those children in need who are left to fend for themselves. children who have experienced abuse are exceptionally vulnerable. the safety in the development of our children must be our highest priority. we must ensure that all children have the chance to guidance and support to confidently build their lives, their relationships. by matching kids to permanently loving homes or with caring federal governmenter parents, our kids is working to accomplish this worthy goal. our kids makes our community stronger and more support i have each and every day. the men and women of our kids are selfless in their efforts to improve the lives of all of our children in south florida. every child ought to have a loving home. and it is our responsibility as a community and a nation to guarantee that no child is left alone. on behalf of parents everywhere, mr. speaker, i again thank our
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kids of miami-dade and monroe and look forward to all of their future accomplishments on behalf of all of our children. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. posey from florida. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for five minutes and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rohrabacher: mr. speaker, i rise to draw attention to the ongoing plight of the people of burma,. shortly after the second world war, burma was granted its independence from great britain with democratic institutions in place, rich natural resources and an educated population. it was expected that burmave would -- burma would become a wealthy, stable and free country.
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sadly, that country with so much potential has become dominated by corrupt tie rabt rants and -- tyrants, and its people suffer in poverty. the people of burma are losing their country to a foreign power. a chinese power grab is not only depleting and stealing burma's natural resources, but slowly and surely, burma is being turned into a province of beijing. china is literally stealing burma from its own people and it is accomplishing this crime with the assistance of burmese government officials whose lust for power is greater than any loyalty to their own national homeland. the patriots and freedom-loving people of burma will either join against tyranny or foreign
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domination mr. ortiz: their country will be -- or their country will be lost for generations to come. there needs to be reconciliation between the burmese and those ethnic peoples who make up half of that country's population. in a decades'-old insurgency, the ethnic fighters have been the primary source of opposition to the dictatorship. leaders and other patriotic burmese have been beaten down, repressed and imprisoned. they must come together, they must come together as one under under a banner promising respect for the various people who make up the diverse nation of burma. an opposition coalition must be joined also p


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